Suggested tools for almost-passive fundraising

If your public library/Friends/Foundation didn’t participate in last week’s North Texas Giving Day, don’t fret. Many similar events and activities exist to benefit nonprofits – and often government-run city/county public libraries – on other dates and even on many different days each year.

You, the reader of this article, should visit the following sites both to donate and to make sure your specific cause, charity or other nonprofit is participating. If you’re not the person who can see that the group is participating, a call or email from you will let the organization know that donors are looking for them at these URLs.

Please use the comment field to let us know about similar sites – and about your experience with these or similar programs.

1. #GivingTuesday – PLAN YOUR CAMPAIGN NOW!!!image of #givingTuesday 2014 logo
A global day dedicated to giving back, #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. To date, the movement has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide. While there are no additional rewards offered through the partnership, the benefits to nonprofits – and to donors – make the simple concept work.

Encourage your organization’s supporters to use social media Tuesday December 2, 2014 not only to tell their followers which library (etc.) they’re supporting and how they’re doing so but also to encourage those followers to join in and participate in #GivingTuesday. If you remember a day last December when you suddenly saw lots of selfies in tweets about donations to favorite charities, you probably know already how well that relatively simple marketing concept works.

More information about planning for participation in #Giving Tuesday was made available in a September 17, 2014 blog from Tech Soup® .

2. KroKroger community rewards imagesger Community Rewards®
For years local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations have received Kroger Community Rewards®. To support the organization of your choice, simply enroll in the Kroger Plus Card program, designating your library/Friends/Foundation as recipient of the donations, and then be sure to swipe your Plus Card before checking out each time you shop at Kroger. All participating supporters must re-enroll each year, and this is the time for such re-enrollment.

I found both city/county government-run and nonprofit public libraries among the participating recipients listed on this program’s website.

3. Tom Thumb/Randall’s Good Neighbor Program Tom Thumb/Randall's reward card & Good Neighbor images
Sign up for this program either online or at your Tom Thumb/Randall’s store, and choose up to three participating churches, schools and/or other nonprofit organizations from the list. Then each time you shop at a participating store and swipe your card at the register, the purchase price of groceries in that transaction will automatically be recorded to the 1 to 3 specified charitable organizations’ Good Neighbor account. Each quarter, that/those organization/s will automatically receive a check for 1% of your total tally.

EXTRA: Through the end of this month, you can receive one Community Buck for every $50 in groceries you purchase (up to 3 per transaction). Send the collected Community Bucks to any participating organization, and it will receive $1 for each Community Buck, in the form of a Tom Thumb/Randall’s Gift Card.

According to the registration form for participating recipients, a copy of the organization’s 501(c)(3) must be attached to the application.

4. Labels for Educationlabels for education logo image
Public libraries and other eligible schools/organizations may participate in the Labels for Education Program. By saving and redeeming product UPCs and beverage/sauce caps from participating products, you can help a library or other participating organization earn FREE educational merchandise, such as computers, software, sports equipment, musical instruments, library books and even a minivan. The library, school or other qualifying organization redeems the points collected for FREE Educational Merchandise. Rules for Participation and a complete list of Participating Products are available online.

5. Good Search and more
Once an organization is signed up with these programs, its supporters can earn money for the specific group through 1) searching the Internet, 2) shopping online and 3) dining out. Here’s a quick explanation of the current options.

Goodsearch: goodsearch logoSearch the Internet with the patent-protected, Yahoo!-powered search engine (just as on any other search engine), and Goodsearch LLC will donate about a penny per (most) searches to the designated participating organization.
Goodshopgoodshop logo: Shop at one of more than 2,800 participating stores (from Amazon to Zazzle), and a percentage of what you spend will be donated to the designated organization at no extra cost to you. (Since Goodshop lists more than 100,000 coupons and deals, you could save money while doing a good deed.)
Goodshop mobile appgoodshopto-go logo: Download the free Goodshop app for iPhone or iPad to get the best deals and coupons for your favorite online stores, whenever you want to shop. Every time you shop, Goodsearch LLC will donate a percentage of your purchase to the cause of your choice, again at no extra cost to you.
Good-to-go [browser] add-ons: The GoodShop To-Go Button and Goodsearch Plug-in install in your browser in less than 30 seconds and help you to earn donations for your favorite cause when you shop and search … even when you don’t visit Goodsearch first.
goodDiningLogoGooddining: Dine at one of the 10,000 participating restaurants around the country, and a percentage of what you spend will go to your cause, still at no cost to you.
Goodsurveysgoodsurveys logo: When you complete a survey on the online surveys platform, Goodsearch LLC will make a donation of about $1 to your cause.
goodgames logoGoodgames: When you play any combination of goodgames three times, Goodsearch LLC will donate a penny to your cause.

Some Texas public libraries have set Goodsearch as the default search engine on their public – and even staff – access Internet computers; others have added widgets to the library and/or Friends/Foundation website in order to promote contributions via those sites.

I found both city/county government-run and nonprofit public libraries among the participating recipients in this program. Since there is no “library” category listed, I found some Texas public libraries/Friends/Foundation listed under the “Government” category and others under the “Other” category.

6. North Texas Giving Day powered by Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Tx Giving Day logo
If your nonprofit library/Friends/Foundation failed to sign up before the deadline for this year’s North Texas Giving Day, make a note to check the site (linked above) during the first week of August 2015 for details about participating next year. Over 1,600 certified nonprofits benefitted from this year’s event, and – as stated in advance on that site – “donations of $25 and above [were] amplified by $2 million in bonus funds and prizes.” Most of the activity takes place online; Internet access and a credit card are all it takes to make a donation.

I found public library Foundations and Friends groups, but no city/county government-run public libraries listed among the participating Texas recipients I reviewed. Although this was the 6th annual North Texas Giving Day, only about a dozen North Texas public library Friends and/or Foundations participated this year … and not all of those took full advantage of social media to promote their involvement.

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Caveat: While public libraries/Friends/Foundations could participate fairly passively in the programs listed above, the more your group promotes its involvement, the more it stands to receive. Graphics and other help for such promotion are available via those websites, making your group’s non-passive role much less demanding.

Is any of this worth staff effort? Well, consider the fact that $26,341,659.10, from 98,062 gifts, was raised in 18 hours September 18, 2014 thanks to North Texas Giving Day. That amount benefitted all of the  only 1,580 enrolled nonprofit participants. One non-library organization I read about received more than $16,000 in donations (before the match!) and won a $5,000 grant from a separate local organization for having the most donors between 2 and 6 p.m. Of course, that non-library organization has been participating for years.

Isn’t it time for your organization to get involved, too?


Images and occasional text came directly from the named websites. Some rights to images may be reserved.


dona is a consultant for public libraries. She blogs at

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